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Aleix Espargaro: Yamaha has more potential than Honda in Open Class

Espargaro 0.479s ahead of Hayden's Honda Production Racer at the Valencia test

ALEIX Espargaro believes he has made the right decision switching to NGM Forward Racing as the FTR-Yamaha has more potential in the new ‘Open Class’ than the Honda Production Racer that he left at Aspar.

Originally, the Power Electronics Aspar Team were set to run a new Aprilia package for 2014. However, just after Espargaro had signed for Forward Racing, the Aspar team announced they would instead run two new Honda Production Racers.

In an interview with MotoGP after testing in Valencia and Jerez, Espargaro explained: “I think at the first test in Valencia we saw the potential that the FTR-Yamaha has.

“I hope I am not mistaken, but the conclusion was that we were able to take our bike to an equal level with, and indeed exceed, that of the Honda.

Despite concerns the FTR-Yamaha would not be able to match the Honda RCV1000R after test times were released by HRC, Espargaro finished the Valencia post-season test 0.479s ahead of Aspar’s new rider, 2006 World Champion Nicky Hayden.  

Espargaro continued: “The Honda is basically a finished product, whereas we still have everything to do with ours, but our bike still went quicker than the Honda despite having done less laps; with this in mind, I think we have more potential.

“Many people have told me I am making a mistake in switching teams at this point and that the Honda will be better. Time will tell, but what I can say is that both the team and the bike are better than we expected.”